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Pride Events and Festivals

CruiseyT Summer Kick-Off! 2-For-1 Tickets On-Sale Now

Photo Credit: Cruisey-T

MV Britannia will set sail at 5:00pm on Sunday, May 27, 2012 from Coal Harbour and kick-off the summer cruising season. The CruiseyT is Canada’s largest floating T-Dance and tickets purchased online before Tuesday, May 1 are 2-for-1!

DJ Zach Shore and DJ Matilda Ho will have the beats pumping on the 5pm-9pm cruise on the rooftop dancefloor and inside decks, lounges and dance floors. Joan-E and CoCo will be making appearances and performances throughout the evening.

There will also be an on-board barbeque, oxygen bar and lots of great fun in-store. It’s cash-only onboard, so remember to hit-up a bank machine before the 4:30pm boarding.

Advance tickets are $30 (again, 2-for-1 if you purchase online before the May 1 cut-off).

Photo Credit: Cruisey-T

LA Pride 2012 Outstanding Youth Leader

Let’s face it; coming out of the closet in high school is a big deal for any teenager. For 17 year-old high school student, Katy Butler, she faced all the typical challenges that any queer student would face on a daily basis– bullying.  When a new documentary, “Bully” was set to be released with an “R” rating, Katy was outraged.

The “R” rating meant that anyone under the age of 17 would not be able to see the film. Katy started an online petition on Change.org urging the MPAA to change the rating of the film from “R” to “PG-13″.

After receiving over 500,000 signatures and the support of celebrities including Ellen Degeneres who welcomes Katy on her show, the Washington Post named Katy “a new voice against bullying’.

Because of her demonstration that one person is never too young to inspire change, Katy has been honoured as the 2012 Outstanding Youth Leader by LA Pride.

Canadian Facts on Bullying (provided by PinkShirtDay.org):

  • Bullying happens to someone in Canada every 7 minutes on the playground. (Bullying.org).
  • Bullying happens in many different forms. It’s doing, saying or acting in a way that hurts someone else or makes him or her feel bad on purpose. (Verbal, physical, social, extortion, cyber bullying).
  • 50% of Canadian school children report being bullied and 45% of children surveyed do not feel safe when they go to school. (Bullying Study, University of Guelph).
  • 34% of Canadians surveyed knew of students in their community who had been targeted by cyber bullying in the past year
  • Children who are bullied are at risk for impaired social development, mental and physical illnesses, suicide and school absenteeism.
  • Direct Bullying: open attacks, physical, threats, teasing
  • Indirect Bullying: attempts to harm social position including exclusion & gossip

The Trevor Project to Serve as Grand Marshal in 2012 LA Pride Parade

Volunteers of the The Trevor Project march in the 2011 LA Pride Parade


The Grand Marshal of any parade is an important position. It’s especially important in the LA Pride Parade. For 42 years, Christopher Street West has hosted the annual parade in Hollywood, California. This year The Trevor Project, an LGBT organization headquartered along the parade route, will be the Grand Marshal for the Sunday, June 10, 2012 event.

“Today, throughout our country, many parents, teachers, councilors, legislators, advocates and event the White House know that Trevor is the default when it comes to supporting kids struggling with their sexual orientation,” said Owen Ward, Christopher Street West Board of Directors. “LA PRIDE has always served as a beacon of hope and inspiration and that is why we are so pleased to bestow the honor of Community Grand Marshal to The Trevor Project.”

The Trevor Project has used their exposure to build awareness of its life-saving and life-affirming services for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth. Their volunteers across the country have helped thousands of young people who are in crisis or considering suicide.

They also offer secure online services including TrevorChat, an online instant messaging service and TrevorSpace, a social network for teens and youth, to connect with real, live counsellors.

“On behalf of the teens and young adults who need The Trevor Project, as well as the many volunteers and supporters who make our work possible, we are honored to be recognized as this year’s Community Grand Marshal,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project.” We are grateful to Christopher Street West and the community of West Hollywood for supporting a culture that encourages young people to reach out for help. You help make sure The Trevor Project is there for young people whenever they need to talk live,”

Ford Canada Sends Mr. Gay Canada Finalist to Competition in Style

Whistler Gay Ski Week is well underway and with WinterPRIDE starting today, many more will be making their way up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to take in the 65 events. Ford Canada stepped in to help make my journey to the Mr. Gay Canada competition a little easier and a whole lot more fun by graciously providing me a 2011 Ford F150 Platnium SuperCrew 4X4. Yes folks, I will be arriving in comfort and style!

The 2011 Ford F150 boasts best-in-class torque, towing, payload and fuel efficiency. Sure, that’s all great – but above all that, the truck has amazing sleek lines, a vibrant and easy to read LCD dashboard, heated leather seats and a built-in navigation system.

See you up in Whistler, and watch for a follow-up review on the 2011 Ford F150.

*Disclosure: Ford Canada provided this vehicle for no obligation or expectation of promotional consideration. No other compensation will be provided and my opinions remain my own. All product claims should be verified with the manufacturer.

WinterPRIDE 2012 – Snowball Dance ‘Till Dawn

Although the 20th Annual WinterPRIDE is just getting underway today in Whistler, BC, you won’t want to miss out on the biggest party of the entire Gay Ski Week – Snowball Dance ‘Till Dawn.

Hosted at the Whistler Convention Centre from 10pm – 4am on Saturday, February 11, 2012, the giant wrap-up party will be a celebration of 20 years of being Out & Proud on the slopes.

Vancouver’s DJ Adam Dreaddy will get the crowd warmed up, the dance floor moving and the bodies shaking for DJ / Producer, Manny Lehman. Manny was born in New York and has spend the better part of the last 20 years of his life dedicated to the music industry. He has produced remixes of Janet Jackson, Cher, Madonna, and Sarah Brightman and Lady GaGa for radio, nightclubs and retail distribution. Manny is a popular DJ on the gay club circuit tour having played at Black and Blue (Montreal), Pride Toronto, White Party (Palm Springs), and Fireball (Chicago).

Tickets are available at the door for $90 (including HST).

WinterPRIDE Pool Party

DJ Dan Murphy

It might be cold and snowy up in Whistler for WinterPRIDE, but the party will be heating up as the Mr. Gay Canada finalists make a big splash at the WinterPRIDE Pool Party on Thursday, February 9, 2012, for a late night party hosted by drag diva, Symone.

Australia’s favourite, most experienced DJ’s, Dan Murphy, will be keeping party-goes moving all night long. With a reputation for sets that a uplifting and crowd-pleasing, mixing classic with current, it’s no wonder he landed on Australia’s Top 50 DJ list three times in 2011. Dan has played at events ranging from private clubs and parties, to some of the largest events in the UK, United States and Ibiza. He has even played supporting gigs for Deborah Cox, Kelly Rowland, Adam Lamberta, David Guetta, Ru Paul, and the Freemasons.

The Pool Party is presented by the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba and is hosted at the Meadow Park Sports Centre. The is a six-lane pool, kids pool, and hot tub, all waiting for party-goers to enjoy the fun. Yes, there will be liquor too, from Finlandia Vodka, Whistler Beer and Barefoot Wine.

Tickets are available at the door for $50, with proceeds going to the Vancouver Pride Society. Guests who are planning to make a splash are reminded to bring their own towel and swim suit (clothing and lockers are available on site). A shuttle bus will depart from the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa every 20 minutes throughout the night starting at 10pm. Pool Party goes from 10:00pm – 2:00am.

One-Two-Three. WinterPRIDE Celebrates Three New Events in 2012

In just 11 short days the Resort Municipality of Whistler will be an ocean of rainbows as the resort welcomes the 20th annual WinterPRIDE. Gay Ski Week is one of Whistler’s longest running events and this year there are three big new additions.

  1. Proclamation from the Resort Municipality of Whistler. February 5-12, 2012 will go down in history as the first time anywhere in the world that a ski resort has proclaimed Pride Week.
  2. 5km Pride Run. Frontrunners Running Group of Vancouver will host a 5km run at 9:00am on Thursday, February 9.
  3. Pride March. The event will start at 2:45pm with a ski-out from Olympic Station down Skiers Plaza to the village. At 3:00pm a non-skier procession will then walk through the village to the Whistler Conference Centre for the reading of the official Proclamation.

“The Resort Municipality of Whistler embraces the diversity that the LGBTT community represents,” stated Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “The municipality is committed to working with community partners to continue making Whistler an inclusive mountain resort.”

The 2012 festival includes eight days and 65 events, with entertainment highlights including actor/comedian Jason Stuart, country artist Patrick Masse, pop artist Tyrell Witherspoon, and international DJ’s Manny Lehman, Ted Eiel, Tim Jones and Dan Murphy.

For more information on the events scheduled visit gaywhistler.com.

DJ Zach Shore to Headline WinterPRIDE 2012 Gender Bender Drag Ball

DJ Zach Shore has established himself as one of the best DJ’s in Vancouver’s club scene.

Zach was introduced to DJing from his dad, who had previously been a DJ and had set-up a home studio for making remixes. Zach experimented at home and then took his talents to underground, playing parties where he learned how to adapt and be flexible in his own unique style.

Having graced many dance floors with his music, Zach has entertained thousands of club goers with his wide variety of style. He has mastered the art of setting the mood and tone to captivate the crowds.

Today, Zach is aggressively developing his skills in music production as his dance remixes become more recognized by other DJ’s and artists. Zach also creates soundtracks for video and animation companies throughout North America.

DJ Zach Shore will be the headline DJ at Gender Bender Ball at WinterPRIDE on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 from 9pm – 2am at Garfunkles in the Whistler village.

“Zach Shore is sure to get you groov’n on the dance floor,” said Vancouver Drag Diva, Symone.

WinterPRIDE is held February 5 – 12, 2012 in Whistler, BC. Tickets are on sale now for the Gender Bender Ball and other events.

The 8 Do’s and Don’ts of Pride Parades

Pride parades are all about celebrating the rights and freedoms we have as individuals, raise awareness, and recognize the diversity within our communities, all while respecting the unique differences amongst citizens and visitors.

During a Pride parade, pretty much anything goes, but here are some good pointers and etiquette to keep in mind:

  1. Do wear lots of sunscreen.
  2. Do stay on the sidewalk; please keep off the parade route.
  3. Do drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  4. Don’t forget your sunglasses.
  5. Do cheer for your favourite drag queen, dancers and friends of the community as they pass by.
  6. Do take lots of photos; respect those who do not want their photo taken.
  7. Do share pride beads.
  8. Don’t arrive at the parade drunk

International Leatherboy Attends 2011 Toronto Pride

Ian - Mr International Leatherboy 2010

In February 2010, Ian McKechnie was titled, Eastern Canada Leather boy, and just a few months later in July 2010 he was named Mr International Leatherboy.

“Since that time I have been publically stripped naked, tied-up, beaten, flogged, kicked, punched, electrocuted, and set on fire,” said Ian. “It’s been a great freakin year!”

The youngest of seven children, Ian grew up in a blue collar, Roman Catholic family in Hamilton, Ontario. He is proud of his accomplishments as a second-degree black belt.

Thought his involvement in the Hamilton Pride Committee, Ian was introduced to the Golden Horseshoe Leather Association. Here Ian met his two leather mentors, Phil and John, who showed him the many facets of the leather community.

Sadly, his mentors passed away before they could see Ian win his International title.

“It is the memory of their love, boundless energy, and selfless commitment to the leather and bear communities that I take with me throughout this title year, and always,” Ian proudly said.

During his term, Ian shares his duties with Sir Hugh, International Leather SIR, and red warrior, International Community Bootblack 2010.

Ian has attended many Pride events and festivals over the past year as part of his duties, including Toronto Pride 2011.

Ian ended with, “I am proud to say that my name is Ian, and I am a Leather boy.”

Mr International Leatherboy, blogger Brian Webb, and DJ Pierre Fitch at Toronto Pride 2011

Salt Spring Island Opens a Giant Bag of Happy at 7th Annual Pride Weekend


Sunshine, blue skies and rainbows is what pride organizers ordered, and that’s what was delivered this past weekend for the 7th Annual Salt Spring Island Pride.

Salt Spring Island Pride is not about the latest fashion, headliner DJ’s, big-name entertainers, or political leaders. It’s about a community coming together; a true, grass-roots, Pride festival. People from all walks of society are proud to come together in a safe environment where they can let loose and express themselves freely.

Thursday evening the organizers hosted a panel discussion on international gay rights, followed by the screening of Beyond Gay, the Politics of Pride. It was hosted outside in the vineyard of a local winery.

“The Thursday night Salon was incredible,” said Salt Spring Island Pride Chair, Amy Phillips. “It was the setting, the set-up, and the attendance. The panel members were great and they brought such quality to the event.”

Members from every facet of the Salt Spring community came out to Fulford Hall on Friday evening for Ze Cabaret. From violins, poetry and folk music, to salsa dancing, burlesque and a saw-fiddle performance – the fun evening of eclectic talent from local performers made for a evening the entire room thoroughly enjoyed.

Following the Friday evening variety show was a dance with music by local DJ’s who mashed up 1920’s flapper music with the likes of Rihanna. It was lively but very home-grown, laid back fun.

“There were big expectations for both Thursday and Friday night,” said Amy. “People were glowing with awe and appreciation. Something special happened that [Friday] night. The Cabaret event took on a life of it’s own.”

On Saturday morning the men threw on their dress and wig, the 20-something’s grabbed whatever they could find with a rainbow on it, and the ladies strapped into their corsets – and all together they marched proudly down the street proclaiming Pride on Salt Spring Island.

“The parade route was new for 2011,” Amy explained. The parade halted traffic for an hour along the central street in Ganges village. Hundreds of people lined the streets to see the parade. The parade included support organizations, local politicians (the Green Party’s very own MLA, Elizabeth May, rode in a horse-drawn carriage!), and members of the LGBT community.

“Numbers were down this year,” said Salt Spring Island Pride Chair, Amy Phillips. “Tourism is down on the island in general. Fewer people on the Island turned out for the parade this year.”

Following the parade was Pride in the Park; an afternoon in the park where family and friends could gather and enjoy the beautiful weather, listen to local music and hear speakers talk about issues the trans community still faces.

“Pride in the Park is what kept the events going,” explained Amy. “Folk music and dancing is what people wanted. The trans theme came from a workshop we attended earlier this year. Trans are still not covered under the human rights in Canada.”

Saturday night a Pride Dance was held at Barbs Buns. The venue was ideal – a dance floor inside, a set-bar for quick service of refreshments, and an outdoor patio for fresh air and socializing.

It is evident there is interest on Salt Spring Island for more LGBT gatherings throughout the year. Pride weekend felt like the entire community opened a giant bag of happy and they needed to consume it all at once.

Salt Spring Island is a place where people are comfortable with themselves and accept their neighbours for who they are, not what they are.

As much as the organizers believe their event is about raising awareness of human rights, the people of Salt Spring Island were all happy to join in community events that brought them together, leaving them with a feeling of a greater sense of personal being, pride and acceptance.

Salt Spring Island to Celebrate 7th Annual Pride

Summer is just about over, but don’t put away your boas, dancing shoes and rainbow flags just yet because the seemingly sleepy rural community of Salt Spring Island is about to host British Columbia’s third largest Pride festival.

From September 8 – 11, the Salt Spring Island community will welcome rainbows, drag queens and LGBT guests to join in the 7th Annual Pride celebrations and pride parade.

“Everyone comes out for the parade and dances,” said Amy Phillips Salt Spring Pride Chair. “Everyone involved feels a sense of ownership of the parade. We are inviting visitors into [our] close knit community that is our way of life here.”

Salt Spring Island Pride is a true grassroots Pride event. Although the LGBT community already has many equal rights and same-sex marriage across all of Canada, the event organizers continue to push the political agenda of LGBT rights with this year’s theme, Out in the World!

“We wanted to put a spotlight on the international community where it can be life threatening to be out, as well as see where we have miles to go, closer to home, in the trans community,” said Amy Phillips.

Outside of the political agenda, the Salt Spring Island LGBT community is excited about sharing their way of life with visitors coming to the island for the Pride celebrations.

“Many of us are used to hanging out in our gardens, the woods and potlucks,” Amy explains. “We get pretty excited about expressing a different part of ourselves that Pride also brings out – the larger than life, flamboyant, outrageous and sexy parts.”

It’s not only the LGBT community that is excited about the festivities, Island businesses will be cashing in this weekend too with the influx of visitors.

“Businesses are catching on about the boon that Pride has become to the island, although many of them have supported us all along,” Amy said. “We have given businesses that have donated a [rainbow] flag so they can celebrate and let people know they are supporting the festival.”

Over 700 people are expected to attend the 2011 Salt Spring Island Pride Parade on Saturday, September 10, which starts at noon in Ganges village.

There is a full weekend of events including the screening of Beyond Gay: the Politics of Pride Thursday evening, a cabaret and dance party Friday night, a traditional Pride dance Saturday night, a Unitarian church service Sunday morning and the annual Pride picnic Sunday afternoon.

Funding for the Pride festivities come from donations, local businesses and corporate sponsors including CIBC and Thrifty Foods.

Located in the Straight of Georgia, between Vancouver and Victoria, Salt Spring Island is the largest, most populated, and most frequently visited of the Gulf Islands.

The fastest and easiest way to get to the Island is by float plane from Vancouver or Victoria, and there is daily ferry service from Victoria and other Gulf Islands.

Depending on your style, accommodations on Salt Spring Island range from hotels and bed and breakfasts’, to camping under the stars.

In addition to the Pride celebrations, visitors can enjoy incredible hiking at Ruckle Park, amazing dining featuring fresh, local ingredients, kayaking and swimming in the ocean and lakes, and shopping at the many studios of island artists.

For specific times and more information about Pride and GLOSSI, (Gays and Lesbians of Salt Spring Island), visit their website.

Okanagan Pride Claims Success


Pride in the Okanagan kicked off with a great success. Mayor Sharron Sheppard raised the signature rainbow flag at Kelowna’s City Hall and declared it Pride Week in Kelowna through the reading of the official Proclamation.

With 30’c temperatures and clear blue sunny skies all week long, members of the Okanagan community came out to enjoy movies, picnics, barbecue’s and golf events.

The beloved Joan-E, the Pacific Northwest’s most popular drag queen, graced many Okanagan Pride events over the weekend, including the Friday night barbeque and Saturday afternoon Festival in the Park. Her singing, dancing and banter was enjoyed by all ages.

“I am honored to be amongst the LGBTQ community of the Okanagan and their supporters,” said Joan-E. “I am proud of each and every one of them and proud of their accomplishments. I want them to know I think they are Brave”

Toronto’s Jeffery Straker had the crowd revved up with his powerful vocals and keyboard skills, while Kim Kumza from Vancouver entertained the audiences with her stunning musical talents.

The highlight of the week was the Okanagan Pride Dance Party hosted at the Coast Capri Hotel. DJ’s Drew G, Lisa Delux and Jeffery Michael kept the speakers pounding out the hottest beats and the dance floor grinding with hundreds of party-goers.

Joan-E to Grace Okanagan Pride This Weekend

Joan-E will be performing this weekend at Okanagan Pride

With Okanagan Pride week events fully underway, as are the preparations to host on of the most popular and well respected drag queens all of the Pacific North West, Joan-E.

Joan-E, best known for her quick wit, banter and flirtatious attitude, comes from the creative imagination of entertainer, Robert Kaiser. Robert has been performing on stage and at events since 1990.

This weekend Joan-E will bring her wonderful sarcasm, frocks, boas and high-heels to Okanagan Pride, to join in the celebrations of the landmark achievements that have been made this year.

This year for the first time in its history, the City of Kelowna has proudly raised the iconic rainbow flag at City Hall and proclaimed Pride Week in Kelowna. This is a momumental for the Okanagan’s LGBT community because the previous Mayor, Walter Grey, refused to endorse all Pride celebrations.

“I am so pleased that the City of Kelowna has taken this great action,” said Joan-E. ‘The symbol of the Pride Flag over City Hall may literally save lives. Coming out is one of the hardest things any young man or woman will ever do. It is even harder in smaller cities or towns where there are smaller LGBTQ Communities and less visible Queer images and role models.”

In larger urban centres there are more resources for the LGBT community and they tend to be tolerant and more liberal.

“People can feel alone and may also think that they are the only ones who feel the way they do,” Joan-E explained. “For a young person coming out, the Rainbow flag at City Hall is HOPE. When communities stand up to be noticed and counted it sends a strong message that we are everywhere and that we are not going away.”

With Vancouver Pride, one of the larger Pride celebrations in North America, just wrapping up two weeks earlier, Joan-E is looking forward to celebrating Pride in the Okanagan.

“It is my privilege to have been asked to come perform and be part of Okanagan Pride,” said Joan-E. “I only hope I can do my job properly and put smiles on faces. As much as I love big city Pride, it will be amazing to have everyone from the community in one facility celebrating together. Oh, and I’ve decided to fall in love this weekend!! Hey, a girl can hope right?”

This weekend the community is encouraged to come show their pride, and to celebrate the diversity and variety of life and culture in the Okanagan. This the perfect opportunity for members of the community to demonstrate their openness, tolerance and supportive attitude during all Pride Week activities.

“I am honored to be amongst the LGBTQ community of the Okanagan and their supporters,” Joan-E explained. “I am proud of each and every one of them and proud of their accomplishments. I want them to know I think they are Brave. Anyone can walk hand in hand with his or her same sex partner in the Castro in San Francisco or on Davie Street in Vancouver. Those who do so in Kelowna, Cranbrook or Vernon who fight the hard fight… They get my props!”

As a leader in the LGBT community, Joan-E is sure to leave a positive impression at this year’s Okanagan Pride celebrations.

“I look forward to seeing old friends and making many more new ones!” said Joan-E “Happy pride!”

Joan-E will be performing Saturday afternoon at the family-friendly festival in Kelowna City Park and Saturday night at the Coast Capri Hotel for the Pride Dance Party.

Joan-E’s notable achievements include:

  • Host of the Vancouver Pride parade for the past 12 years.
  • Awarded Imperial Crown Princess, Entertainer of the Year, Empress XXVIII and Citizen of the Year in Vancouver’s LGBT community.
  • Drag Queen of the Year by WE magaznine
  • Hero award from Xtra West
  • Friend Indeed Award from The Community
  • 2010 Jose Honours award
  • US State Congressional award
  • Golden Jubilee Award of Merit from HRH Queen Elizabeth II
  • Inducted into the Queer Hall of Fame in 2009

4th Annual Okanagan Pride Week Events

With Pride Week officially proclaimed by Mayor Sharon Sheppard and the City of Kelowna, Gay Okanagan, the organizing committee for Okanagan Pride, is ready to welcome everyone to attend a number of events throughout the week.

Wednesday, August 10: Movie Night

Head to the Okanagan College Students Servicese Building theatre for a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Costumes are encouraged. Doors open at 7; how at 7:30pm. $5 donation.

Thursday, August 11: Golf

Orchards Greens Golf Club will host the 3rd Annual Golf Night. 9-holes of golf, followed by dinner. Prizes. All ages welcome. Beginner to advanced. Pre-registration is required. $40 for ORC Members; $45 general; $20 dinner only.

Friday, August 12: BBQ & Volleyball

A classic Okanagan evening wouldn’t be complete without a fun game of volleyball at Hot Sands Beach in City Park. The Centre, the home of Kelowna’s LGBT resource centre, will be hosting an outdoor BBQ – burger and beer for $10.

Saturday, August 13: Pride Festival

Performer Kim Kuzma and singer Jeffery Straker will entertain the crowds from noon-4pm at Kelowna City Park at the family-friendly afternoon. Vendor displays and activities.

Saturday, August 14: Pride Dance Party

The Coast Capri welcomes Vancouver’s legendary Joan-E and DJ Jeffery Michael and DJ Drew will entertain party-goers all night long for Okanagan Pride’s largest event of the week. $20 for ORC Members; $30 general. 9:00pm – 3:00am. Stay at the Coast Capri and save – quote “Pride” at time of booking for discounted package rates.

Okanagan Pride Week Kicks Today off With Monumental Flag Raising

Pride Week kicked off today in the Okanagan and to mark the 4th annual event, the City of Kelowna raised the iconic rainbow flag on the courtesy pole outside of Kelowna City Hall.

This is monumental event in Kelowna and signals a shift of change. In 1997, past Mayor Walter Grey declined to sign a proclamation of Gay and Lesbian Pride Week and abolished any future proclamations for the city.  The BC Human Rights Tribunal also ruled against the City of Kelowna, calling the action discriminatory.

The action of the past Mayor left a large cloud over the city and it wasn’t until 2005 when Mayor Sharon Shepherd was elected that the LGBT community would begin a long slow process to rebuild a relationship with the City of Kelowna.

Today, MayorSharon Shepherd overturned her predecessors decision, and on behalf of the City of Kelowna, had the rainbow flag hoisted and proclaimed August 8-13, 2011, Pride Week in Kelowna.

“It seems to be a way of acknowledging that we do have a diverse community and that we are also very respectful of differences in this city,” said Mayor Sharon Shepherd.

Gay Okanagan has been working with the city to have the rainbow flag flown at City Hall.

“We are extremely proud and honoured to have the rainbow flag flying high at City Hall this year,” says Pride Chair, Dustyn Baulkham. “The City of Kelowna and Mayor Sharon Shepherd have been extremely supportive of the LGBTQ community since Mayor Shepherd was elected in 2005.”

For more information on Okanagan Pride Week events, visit their website. 

The Most Festive Residential Window Decoration Celebrating Outgames and Pride in Vancouver

During the 2011 North American Outgames and Vancouver Pride throughout Vancouver residents hung rainbow flags in their windows, celebrating the two special events. There was one particular window that captured the attention of many.

Located in Yaletown, this particular residential window was an elaborate rainbow flag encompassing two walls of windows. At night it glowed vibrant red, yellow, green, blue and purple colours. During the day, the sun sparkled off the giant flag.

Vancouver Pride Parade


Under clear blue sunny skies, the 33rd annual Vancouver Pride Parade proceeded through the streets of downtown Vancouver on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Over 640,000 spectators were expected to line the parade route.

The 2011 Vancouver Pride Parade was hosted by Vancouver’s popular entertainer, drag queen Joan-E. This year there were over 150 entries including local community groups, businesses, politicians, corporate partners, and LGBT supporters.

Hero’s celebrated in the 2011 Vancouver Pride Parade include:

  • Local Hero – Joan-E
  • Role Model – Bill Siksay
  • Posthumous Pride Hero – Bob Tivey
  • International Role Model – Pat Rocco

Celebrities Night Club – Pride Ball


On Friday, July 30, Celebrities Night Club, the largest gay night club in Western Canada, hosted the annual Pride Ball. DJ Mattilda warmed up the crowd for Grammy nominated remixer and producer, DJ Dave Aude hit the decks. Pride Ball goers loved David’s wide variety of music and his style. The club was themed after Candyland – with a giant ice cream cone in the centre of the room, and all kinds of sweet treats adorning the room. The go go dancers were also looking tasty that night!

2011 Caya Davie Street Party Wrap-Up


Under clear skies and a much welcome warm summer evening, the 2011 Vancouver Pride weekend officially kicked off last night with the Caya Davie Street Party.

Vancouver Pride Society President, Ken Coolen admitted that the event did get off to a rough start. The event was supposed to start at 7pm, but volunteers were not trained to sell tickets to the events and set-up for the event ticket sales and vendors inside the events weren’t fully set-up until around 8pm.

The event was well attended with thousands of people enjoying the live music, DJ’s and performers on the the multiple stages. Notable group, Sugarbeach performed their 2011 North America Outgames theme song, “Come on Out”.

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